MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni sent a letter to Attorney General Mani
Mazuz asking why other funding pledged in the coalition
agreement — NIS 600 million for Labor and NIS 700
million for Shinui — was transferred long ago whereas
the NIS 150 million United Torah Jewry was promised for
chareidi educational institutions is still being withheld.
"The delays are said to be justified by claims that the
chareidi institutions do not meet the criteria. Moreover,
every day new issues and various reasons, based on
ideological or economic motivations, arise. The result is
that you do not transfer the funding, even though we have
arrived at the end of the budget year," writes Rabbi
"The coalition agreement signed between the Likud under Prime
Minister Mr. Ariel Sharon and UTJ on 25 Teves 5765 states
that in the budget clauses for chareidi educational
institutions that had larger cuts than the across-the-board
cuts at the government ministries, a portion of these cuts
would be restored, including talmudei Torah, girls'
seminaries, kindergartens, bussing for Chinuch Atzmai,
student insurance, dormitories and Jewish Culture—a
total of NIS 150 million brought into the basic budget and
approved by the Knesset in the state budget.
"Your office has long been delaying the transfer of these
funds to the above educational institutions, claiming it has
to check whether they meet the required criteria. My only
contention is that you did not withhold the NIS 700 million
arranged with the Shinui Party and the NIS 600 million
arranged with the Labor Party. My requests to accelerate the
checking process and complete it have been ineffective and
have been met with claims that new issues are constantly
arising on various matters (the vast majority of which are
religious matters and matters affecting the chareidi public)
and [you] have been unable to complete the checking process
although we are already at the end of the budget year.
"Your office has caused the following consequences for the
chareidi public: the budget for talmudei Torah has
been cut and teachers are not receiving their wages, or the
parents, the majority of whom are in low socioeconomic
circumstances, are compelled to pay tuition fees even higher
than the already high tuition, further cuts in the budget for
girls' seminaries or fewer girls are admitted to these
"In Jewish Culture the situation is much more bleak. Since
the beginning of the budget year not a single shekel has been
transferred to the cultural organizations and the teachers
and lecturers have not been receiving their wages.
"The money for Chinuch Atzmai bussing has not been
transferred, although all agree that those programs are under-
funded due to the failure of the local authorities to
participate — and your office claims that this abnormal
situation is legal.
"Meanwhile your office is demanding that Chinuch Atzmai study
100 percent of the Core Curriculum program. And if they study
any less than 100 percent they will receive only 75 percent
of funding, even if they study 95 percent of the curriculum.
Incidentally your instructions, according to the conversation
we held, that the funding would be totally matched and must
be implemented gradually by the 5765 school year, were not
carried out. A letter by the director of the Department for
Accredited Education, ostensibly based on your orders,
demanded a full cut.
"All this in spite of the fact the local authorities funding
is part of the education budget, such as bussing and many
other issues you say Chinuch Atzmai is entitled to and does
not receive. You claim the Chinuch Atzmai budget is totally
legitimate and everything is done in the name of justice, law
"I would like to stress that all of the Education Ministry's
plans, such as the Dovrat Committee, the Core Curriculum
Program and the Meitzav Exams, were the result of the
collapse of the general education system, a reality that did
not affect the chareidi education system as demonstrated by
all of the regional and international assessments and tests
and as every schoolboy knows. Sometimes it seems all of these
plans are done just in order to strike at the successful
chareidi education system.
"I have many other examples in my bag to cite, but I will
share only one. The Foreign Affairs and Security Committee
approved Defense Ministry regulations according to which a
kollel is defined as a place where avreichim
study 40 hours per week, and the committee, along with Deputy
Attorney General Mr. Yehoshua Shufman, accepted the
distinction between the amount of study time demanded of an
avreich and the amount of study time at a [yeshiva].
My letter to you dated 13 Av 5765 asking you to change the
criteria at the Education Ministry accordingly has yet to
receive a reply to this day, apparently because of the
numerous activities your are engaged in as mentioned above,
or because somebody at your office finds this distinction not
to his liking.
"Maran the Brisker Rov zt"l said when there are one or
two kushyos one should look for a teirutz. But
when there are many kushyos, one should learn the
sugya all over from the beginning. I have done this
and my conclusions regarding your office's attitude toward
the chareidi public are very dark.
"I hereby request an urgent meeting with you to discuss these
issues or that instructions be given to your staff to allow
the chareidi public and its children to live in this Land
according to its world view and way of life, as in the